Saturday, September 24, 2011

Billionaires boost London house prices to fourth most expensive in the world

Billionaires’ homes in London now change hands for an average of more than £3,000 per square foot and our capital has the fourth most expensive house prices in the world, according to new analysis by international estate agents Savills.

Riots, banker-bashing and the threat of a mansion tax did not deter the global super-rich from investing more than £3.3bn in London property last year. While the ‘squeezed middle’ is suffering from frozen or falling incomes and rising taxes they cannot easily avoid, the rich are getting richer – partly because of above average house price inflation at the top of the market.

Billionaires’ property prices in 10 cities around the world increased by an average of 10pc in the first six months of this year, Savills calculates. That was more than half as high again as the average of 6pc for ordinary mortals’ homes in Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo.

China’s booming economy helped Hong Kong push Tokyo off pole position as the world’s most expensive city. Billionaire homes in Hong Kong now typically fetch £6,700 per square foot, compared to £5,190 in Tokyo. Sterling’s weakness made London house prices look like bargains to international buyers – but also helped Paris overtake our capital for the third most expensive slot in the global index with an average price per square foot of £3,270. more